Quick Dinner Ideas

Everyone has his or her trusty recipe to lean on in a pinch. Whether you are a beginner or an accomplished chef, there are certain realities about life that often leave little time for elaborate meal preparation. Quick cooking with little prep time is the name of the game when you are just trying to get dinner on the table without pulling up to the drive-thru window.

Try mastering some of our favorite dinnertime dishes that can be customized to your taste. Make hearty chili recipes, quick pasta dishes, or tacos. Grilling outside can minimize kitchen clean-up, which everyone appreciates.

Here are our picks for quick dinner ideas that you can customize to your taste.


The anatomy of a perfect burger is one of those things people get a little touchy about. Whether you stack them high, wrap them in lettuce, or drown them in cheese, burgers are an American classic for a reason — they are delectable.

Try different takes on this classic quick dinner idea by swapping out the traditional beef patty for salmon, tuna, turkey, or bison.

Click here for The Daily Meals best burger recipes.


Pasta is one of those meals that is even better the second day. Make ahead or enjoy the leftovers to help lighten your load during the work week.

Try traditional Bolognese, pasta alla norma, or carbonara. Make any recipe gluten-free by swapping the durum wheat brand with your favorite gluten-free one. Pasta is a comforting and filling quick dinner idea after a long day at work.

Click here for The Daily Meal's best pasta recipes.


Add your favorite protein and seasonal vegetable for a fresh take for this quick and light dinner idea. Try a chicken Caesar, caprese, or summer vegetable salad to start your dinner off right.

Click here for The Daily Meal's best salad recipes.


This take on a pizza is easy to make at home with frozen or fresh store-bought dough.

Try topping your pizza with fresh vegetables from the farmers market, or add barbecue chicken for a heartier take on this quick dinner idea.

Click here for The Daily Meal's best flatbread recipes.

Hearty Soup

Make a large batch of stew or chili and eat all week. This quick dinner idea makes suppertime simple.

Try a white bean vegetarian chili or spicy chicken stew that you can eat all week or freeze for later.

Click here for The Daily Meal's best soup recipes.

Click here for more quick and easy recipes.

Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.